Ben Jonson

"Bartholomew Fayre Act 5. Scene 2"

Justice, Win-wife, Grace, Quarlous, Pure-craft.
The Justice comes in like a Porter.

THis later disguise, I have borrow'd of a Porter, shall
carry me out to all my great and good ends;
which how ever interrupted, were never destroyed in
me: neither is the hour of my severity yet come, to re-
veal my self, wherein, Cloud-like,| I will break out in
Rain, and Hail, Lightning, and Thunder, upon the head
of Enormity. Two main works I have to prosecute:
first, one is to invent some satisfaction for the poor kind
Wretch, who is out of his wits for my sake, and yonder I
see him coming, I will walk aside, and project for it.

I wonder where Tom Quarlous is, that he returns
not, it may be he is struck in here to seek us.

See, here's our Mad-man again.

I have made my self as like him, as his Gown
and Cap will give me leave.

[Quarlous in the habit of the mad-man is
mistaken by Mrs.

Sir, I love you, and would be glad to be mad
with you in truth.

How! my Widow in love with a Mad-man?

Verily, I can be as mad in Spirit as you.

By whose Warrant? leave your canting. Gen-
tlewoman, have I found you? (save ye, quit ye, and
multiply ye) where's your Book? 'twas a sufficient name
I mark'd, let me see't, be not afraid to shew't me.

[He desires to see the Book of Mistris Grace.


What would you with it, Sir?

Mark it again and again at your Service.

Here it is, Sir, this was it you mark'd.

Palemon? fare you well, fare you well.

How, Palemon!

Yes faith, he has discover'd it to you now, and
therefore 'twere vain to disguise it longer, I am yours,
Sir, by the benefit of your Fortune.

And you have him Mistris, believe it, that
shall never give you cause to repent her benefit, but
make you rather to think, that in this choice she had both
her Eyes.

I desire to put it to no danger of protesta-

Palemon the word, and Win-wife the Man?

Good Sir, vouchsafe a Yokefellow in your mad-
ness, shun not one of the sanctified Sisters, that would
draw with you in truth.

Away, you are a Herd of hypocritical proud
Ignorants, rather wild than mad; Fitter for Woods,
and the Society of Beasts, than Houses, and the Con-
gregation of Men. You are the Second part of the
Society of Canters, Out-Laws to Order and Discipline,
and the only priviledg'd Church-Robbers of Christen-
Let me alone, Palemon the Word, and Win-wife
the Man?

I must uncover my self unto him, or I shall ne-
ver enjoy him, for all the Cunning Mens Promises.
Good Sir, hear me, I am worth Six Thousand Pound,
my Love to you is become my Rack, I'll tell you all
and the truth, since you hate the Hypocrisie of the par-
ty-coloured Brother-hood. These seven years I have
been a wilful holy Widow, only to draw Feasts and
Gifts from my intangled Suitors: I am also by Office
an assisting Sister of the Deacons, and a Devourer, in-
stead of a Distributer of the Alms. I am a special
Maker of Marriages for our decayed Brethren, with our
Rich Widows, for a third part of their Wealth, when
they are married, for the Relief of the poor Elect: as
also our poor handsome young Virgins, with our
wealthy Batchelors, or Widowers; to make them steal
from their Husbands, when I have confirmed them in
the Faith, and got all put into their Custodies. And if
I ha' not my Bargain, they may sooner turn a scolding
Drab into a silent Minister, than make me leave pro-
nouncing Reprobation and Damnation unto them. Our
Elder, Zeal-of-the-land, would have had me, but I know
him to be the Capital Knave of the Land, making him-
self rich, by being made Feoffee in trust to deceased Bre-
and coz'ning their Heirs, by swearing the abso-
lute Gift of their Inheritance. And thus having eas'd
my Conscience, and utter'd my Heart with the Tongue
of my Love: Enjoy all my Deceits together, I beseech
you. I should not have revealed this to you, but that in
time I think you are mad, and I hope you'll think me so
too, Sir?

He considers with himself of it.

Stand aside, I'll answer you pre-
sently. Why should not I marry this Six
Thousand Pound, now I think on't? and
a good Trade too that she has beside, ha?
The t'other Wench Win-wife is sure of; there's no Ex-
pectation for me there! here I may make my self some
saver, yet, if she continue mad, there's the Question.
It is Money that I want, why should I not marry the
Money when 'tis offer'd me? I have a Licence and all, it
is but razing out one Name, and putting in another.
There's no playing with a Man's Fortune! I am resolv'd!
I were truly mad an' I would not! Well, come your
ways, follow me, an' you will be mad, I'll shew you a

[He takes her along with him.

Most zealously, it is that I zealously desire.

[The Justice calls him.

Sir, let me speak with you.

By whose Warrant?

The Warrant that you tender, and respect so;

Justice Overdoo's! I am the Man, Friend Trouble-all,
tho thus disguis'd (as the careful Magistrate ought) for
the good of the Republick in the Fair, and the weeding
out of Enormity. Do you want a House, or Meat, or
Drink, or Clothes? Speak whatsoever it is, it shall be
supplied you, what want you?

Nothing but your Warrant.

My Warrant? for what?

To be gone, Sir.

Nay, I pray thee stay, I am serious, and have not
many words, nor much time to exchange with thee
think what may do thee good.

Your Hand and Seal will do me a great deal
of good; Nothing else in the whole Fair, that I

If it were to any end, thou should'st have it

Why, it will satisife me, that's end enough, to
look on; an' you will not gi' it me, let me go.

Alas! thou shalt ha' it presently. I'll but step
into the Scriveners here by, and bring it. Do not go

[The Justice goes out,

Why, this Mad Man's shape will prove a very
fortunate one, I think! Can a Ragged Robe produce
these Effects? if this be the wise Justice, and he bring me
his hand, I shall go near to make some use on't. He is
come already!

[And returns.

Look thee! here is my Hand and Seal, Adam
if there be any thing to be written above in
this Paper that thou want'st now, or at any time here-
after, think on't, it is my deed, I deliver it so; can your
Friend write?

Her hand for a Witness, and all is well.

[He urgeth Mistris Purecraft.

With all my heart.

Why should not I ha' the Conscience to make
this a Bond of a Thousand Pound now, or what I would

Look you, there it is; and I deliver it as my Deed

Let us now proceed in madness.

[He takes her in with him.

Well, my Conscience is much eas'd; I ha' done
my part, though it doth him no good, yet Adam hath
offer'd Satisfaction! The Sting is removed from hence!
Poor man, he is much alter'd with his Affliction, it has
brought him low! Now for my other work, reducing
the Young Man (I have follow'd so long in Love) from
the brink of his Bane, to the Center of Safety. Here,
or in some such like vain place, I shall be sure to find him.
I will wait the good time.

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